Friday, June 01, 2007

Microsoft's Meltdown?

I recently wrote an article about the troubles with Vista, Microsoft's newest operating system. It was not flattering. While Vista might be laden with lots of "wow" that will appeal to Average Joe Computer User, the reason many of us in the gaming industry are crucifying it is based solely on the massive marketing hype that this new OS would bring a renaissance to PC gaming. Oh how I wish we were looking at a different Vista.

If this is a renaissance, I'd hate to see an inquisition.

My fellow GameDaily editors and I have been discussing the copious amounts of bad press Microsoft has garnered of late. Vista continues to disappoint; fully baked component driver's remain unavailable 6 months after release (which begs the question - why is NVIDIA, ATI and Creative having so much trouble stabilizing their drivers in the first place); games (both new and old) need to be individually tweaked in order to operate correctly, or in same cases - at all... all this from an operating system that was supposed to revolutionize and revitalize PC gaming.

If this is a revolution, I'd prefer the status quo... which in this case is Windows XP.

But the trials and tribulations of Vista are just the proverbial tip of the problematic iceberg for Microsoft. In conjunction with what can only be classified as a miserable launch failure, two other key components of the whole "The WOW Starts Now" campaign can't even get off the launch pad. Two games, Halo 2 and Shadowrun (the development companies for both of these games are owned and operated by Microsoft), were to christen the arrival of Games for Windows - Live. This application allows users of the Xbox Live service to finally play against PC users in the titular showdown of which gamer is better - but only for games that support it. Halo 2 was supposed to release way back on May 8. It has been delayed twice and STILL isn't out. Early final beta reviews are not flattering by the way, but Microsoft hasn't said a peep about when we can expect to see Master Chief unveiled. Maybe he's busy covering up. Shadowrun dropped yesterday, and I'm due to receive my review copy tomorrow... so stay tuned.

Vista, Live and both of these games have been in development for years... and this is the best they can do? If Microsoft can't get their own games to work with their own operating system using their own communication application... why the @!#% bother?

Maybe the folks up in Redmond, WA, are drinking too much brew (Pyramid, Widmer Brothers and a slew of other fantastic microbreweries are located in the Great Northwest) or smoking too much doob. Or maybe Microsoft is banking on their next great invention... a surface table top PC, which, I must admit looks insanely cool. But then, Vista looked insanely cool too. Take a look for yourself...

So... what do you think? Is Microsoft sliding down the backside of Monopoly Mountain careening towards an immovable pine tree, or do they have a smokin' ace up their sleeve? Let me hear your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Read why I think GfW-Live is messed up:

Eli the Mad Man said...

Thanks for the comment!

Good Top 10 List, and I absolutely agree with you. The way Microsoft is going about this whole Vista/Live thing could NOT have been done worse.

Like you, I am not a Microsoft basher. I really do give props to Gates & Company for all they've done with Microsoft, but man... this is just straight up a HORRIBLE set of products that they've unleashed. In their current condition that is. They COULD be good... but right now they're not, and I'm not entirely sure they have the ability to rebound from this catastrophe. IF anyone can, it's them... but the way they've handled it all so far leaves me with A LOT of doubts.